Making a man

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Ravi Pathak changed from drug dealing to banking 


By Kiran Bedder-Patel

“I still remember the bleeping sound of the cash point asking me if I wanted more time. Time is the last thing I wanted at that moment. I was put in a cell and cried all night long I’m not afraid to say it.”

Hardly a sequence of events you’d expect to face from just going to a cash point.

Ravi Pathak is 25 and from Wembley, London. He comes from a wealthy, Asian family and a high class background.

However, he was led into selling drugs in his area in 2009 and what followed was much more.

Its perhaps known as the most common way of making money “and is all around us, we just don’t know it” and yet greeted with a gentle smile and a firm handshake followed by hug which was likewise, it’s hard to think that this well dressed young man, who’s just came home from a 9-5 shift at Santander, was one of London’s largest drug dealer and part of one of the biggest drug moving cartels.

“To be honest with you, it all started when I was 17. I’d safely say I gave into peer pressure and the influence of older people around me took its toll. I was always the youngest and we started doing it as a joke.

“We were then making stupid money and it ended up being kinda of a way to live. We used to have regular customers who told their friends, who told there friends and gradually our customers went from 10’s to 20’s to 100’s of regulars.”

Whilst making money, Ravi was studying Business and I.T at Hertfordshire University and graduated with a 2:1 degree in which opened up many doors for him. He started a Graduate scheme at Barclays bank but quit after 3 months. He was then jobless for 2 years but still making a full time wage plus more.

“I was bored there, I wanted to be making fast money with minimum work and that’s what I did. I liked feeling like the big man and loved feeling like I was in a gang movie. It was my job to collect money and that was the reputation I got and enjoyed. Everyone wanted to know me and chill with me.”

Asked if he ever classed himself as a drug dealer, an unexpected pause was followed by a stutter and then a deep breathe. Clearly something to think on.

“Never did I class myself as a drug dealer, more of a businessman. I got greedy and wanted more and more cash and if I didn’t get it, people faced repercussions. But I guess karma grabbed me and chewed me right up. I had it all and then lost it just like that. I can only compare it to have a hand full of sand and then opening up your fingers. Was as quick as that.”

In June, 2015, after stopping off at a cash point, blue lights flagged all around him. Including armed policed and swat cars, Ravi was arrested and had himself, his car and his house searched. His Parents, Five-year old brother and Seven-year old sister was home at the time the police “turned the house upside down”.
They found 18ounces of class B.

“I remember everything. What I was wearing and where I was going even how much I was withdrawing. I was told to have my hands up and stand facing the wall and then cuffed.”
Upon release on Bail terms, Ravi returned home. A place where he was no longer welcome anymore.

“My dad gave me a good seeing to. Telling me what affect this had on my mum and siblings. I didn’t have anything to say. I packed my things and left. I had to. The police had taken my phone so I lost all my customer contacts and my way of income. Guess I wasn’t a big man anymore. No one wanted to know and chill with me then.”

Throughout the ordeal, his then girlfriend stuck by him and suggested he should move up to Leicester to be with her. An offer which he grasped but found it hard to find his feet.

“We didn’t live together cause of her family understandably not liking me so I had a small flat and no job just drug money getting me by. I fell into depression and was just waking up wanting to go back in time and just be an innocent, quite London boy. My dad found me a good lawyer in the meantime and told me to sort it out from there, guess he helped me after kicking me out.”

A sales job finally accepted his C.V and gave him a job selling lower rates in Gas and Electricity for Uswitch. Doing 12-hour shifts and making company high sales, finally, Ravi was on the right track.
In court, they seen he had changed everything around.

“I hated not having the respect I previously had before at work, but I learned that I needed to earn it so I worked myself into the ground. Grafted those sales and made sure I got approval. When the court date arrived my dad and lawyer came and picked me from Leicester and took me to court in London.

“I pleaded not guilty to intent to supply in which my brilliant lawyer backed me up in such a fantastic way bamboozling the judge with facts and figures and saying how my new jobs going. The verdict came to receiving a 2-year suspended sentence and £400 fine. I looked at my dad and not a single movement he made, no emotion, nothing. He brought me back Leicester and just simply said I’m a man now. I need to act like one.”

Ravi now works for Santander, still residing in Leicester, he has no contact with nobody from London except family and has even put a deposit down on his first house in Milton Keynes so he can be close to both.

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